What I’ve Been Reading (December edition)

read YA books

The answer is…not much. Oops.

My boyfriend actually informed me the other day that I hadn’t recorded a new book review video in  3 months (also oops), and sounded pretty bummed out by it, so I’m working on clearing a space in the new house and getting some decent light to record reviews again. Any specific requests? 🙂

I have managed to read one or two books over the past few months though, as well as start a few others. Here’s a little taste of where my reading currently stands:

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen | The first book in this series I liked, but it’s this second book that won me over. Kelsea grows into her own as Queen, still making some mistakes along the way. Secondary characters shine in this sequel just as much as in the first. But best of all? I couldn’t wait to turn the page and find one of many flashback chapters interspersed throughout the book. The dual timeline of Lily living 100-years prior is even better, in my opinion, than the main timeline. And the flashbacks totally give off an Orwellian/Bioshock vibe.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey | This book wasn’t bad, but it was predictable in its plot and not earth-shatteringly different from other popular YA books right now. Echo is a human raised by a bird-like race called the Avicen, who have been warring with the dragon-race of the Drakharin. Only a mysterious legend of the Firebird can save them all, and wouldn’t you know, this teenage human thief can get the job done.

The Drakharin characters are the ones that were most interesting and I wish a little more time was spent exploring their paths. The writing is what simultaneously kept me around and made me cringe. It’s witty and blunt at points, and Echo’s certainly got some sass. But it feels like Grey just pulled a lot of the thoughts and dialogue straight from Tumblr. *Sigh*

All-in-all a fun read, but I don’t feel compelled to pick up the next book.

The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman | I’m still working through Neil Gaiman’s nonfiction collection just because I’ve got to be in the mood for it. Some of the early pieces in the book are short essays and opinions, copies of speeches, etc. and are entertaining to read by nature. Mid-book has been lagging for me, since it’s a hefty section dedicated to introductions to books. It’s easy to want to read the intros for authors I’ve read, but for those books/authors I’m not versed in, it’s been hard to commit to reading their intros. There are some more personal essay-type pieces near the end, it looks like, so I’m forging ahead.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I just don’t like Sarah J. Maas. I did, however, like ACoTaR better than…oh, what’s the other series called? Throne of Glass? I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings, so that won some points, but the rest of the story just pained me. I might do a full blown review on this one eventually, since I apparently like complaining so much. Ultimately it felt perfect for a brooding teenage shiny and exciting supernatural other-world love-fest, but maybe I just wasn’t feeling it that day.

I did manage to pick up some books on Black Friday for a whole whopping total of $12. The Thirteenth Floor might be at the top of my list to tackle next! Here’s to more reading!

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  • Sonya

    Yeah, I tried to read A Court of Thorns & Roses–I just couldn’t get through it, even after renewing the library copy a few times. I wish I could, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t keep me interested enough. Maybe I’ll try again another time, maybe not. And I went through a period a few months ago when I wasn’t reading much, either; I actually didn’t read anything all through September, which was weird to realize. I finally got back in the habit last month, though, and it’s been good. I look forward to your next video, Kristin, whenever you get around to it!

    • Yeah, I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t hate it, but I think I just rolled my eyes at it one too many times. Or maybe it’s all of this high praise for Maas that I just don’t get. It is weird, looking back and realizing I haven’t read much, even when you realize it’s only been a month! I’m glad you’re back reading again and I’m excited to read more myself 🙂

  • Love the cover of The Thirteenth Floor. Hope the book is a good as the cover.

    • The fact that I love the cover too makes me suspicious, haha. Usually the books with the good covers don’t pan out for me.

  • I definitely want to read The Invasion of the Tearling books! I always hear great things! I enjoyed A Court of Thorns of Roses, but I stopped halfway through the second book. The main character just depresses me so much and I found her so annoying. The world is fascinating, but I don’t know. I’ll probably finish it at some point. Yes!!! Please do more review videos! 🙂
    ~Sara

    • Part of me is definitely intrigued by ACoTaR, but I found the main character annoying too. Something about those books…man. I want to like them, but I just can’t. Invasion of the Tearling though. Kelsea isn’t perfect, and I actually liked the second book way better than the first, but do read them 😀

  • Kay

    Invasion of the Tearling sounds like an intriguing series! I have read nothing by Sarah J. Maas, but have of course heard so much on the hype train. I tend to find that YA books that people absolutely adore, I usually find relatively ‘meh’ (case in point: The Grisha Trilogy, or The 5th Wave). I think I’ll still give the first book of each series a read, but I’m not expecting much, which will perhaps add to my enjoyment!

    • The first book in a series is a good idea. I always try to give books a chance, unless it’s something where I’ve read the author before and I know there are stylistic/structural things that tend to bother me. The hype train books, ahhhh! I know what you mean. I feel like I’m always raining on people’s fun & dreams when I don’t like popular books. Grisha, at least the first book, I enjoyed just fine, but 5th Wave I was content to stop after book #1. Ah well.